Sunday, 18 November 2012

Just a quick roundup on what's been happening in the background here.

The geese won't go back to the dam, they won't even go for a swim unless I stand on the bank and make them stay in. When I walk away they are hot on my heels. I can't figure out why, unless it's because they are moulting ? The stableyard looks like an explosion in a doona factory. They are so keen on sticking to the stableyard that they didn't even want to come into the house yard to graze, normally a real treat.

Burke nearly killed himself the other day. He was attacking the chain that closes the stableyard gate and managed to get his beak stuck in the carabeena. He was dangling there when we went out to feed them breakfast. I don't know how long he had been there but he was very subdued as we lifted him up and freed his beak. Luckily he didn't do it while we were at work !


The chickens are all fine. The sussex chicks, Frank and Pippi, are starting to mingle with the flock, but are still small enough to get back into the house yard so they aren't being as quicky integrated as I'd like. I suspect the guineafowl are laying under the shipping container but can't see into their excavation to look for eggs. We might have to fence that off before one starts sitting under there.


The cattle still have plenty to eat on the new pasture. It's time to put a weaning ring in Ziggy's nose, but that will be a two person job and will have to wait until DH gets home before dark one day this week. That means I'll be milking again, fresh milk at last !


The sheep are well. Emmaline and Cleo (and Medea because she was very itchy from grass seeds) were shorn and feel much better. We vaccinated all the lambs and put an ear tag in Flash's left ear. We are leaving the tagging until they are almost grown so we can judge the fit to the ear better. Boof had his feet trimmed and got a shot of Pentosan, an anti-inflammatory arthritis drug. The course is 1ml once a week for four weeks, and hopefully it will make a difference to his comfort.




Finally some news at work. I have been appointed to a position at the same grade and at the same location. It's not the one I would have picked, but there may be some scope for a sideways move before the shuffling finishes. Either way, I have a job. Would have preferred a redundancy, but you can't get all your wishes.

Now I suppose I'd better start making some arrangements for Christmas .... I'd been pretending it wasn't happening up until now, but it's coming, ready or not !

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Had a bit of a scare today, I was planting zucchini in the vege garden and heard the sheep stampeding. Now, a sheepalanch occurs when they run for feed, and they get a very good pace up too, but this sounded different. It didn't sound excited and happy, it sounded panicky. I don't know how to explain that running hooves can sound different even when going the same speed, but they did.

So... I headed round to see what was wrong and saw two dogs running along the fenceline. A cattledog and a black hairy thing twice the height of the cattledog. Sound the alarms !!! I called the sheep into the lambing pen, designed to be safe from dogs, threw them some grain and got DH to ring the neighbours. One also has sheep and she headed out to see if she could cut the dogs off. All that time training the sheep to come immediately when called paid off ...

While I was locking up the sheep three kangaroos came bounding out of the forest away from the dogs, followed a few seconds lated by a fourth, who took a shortcut almost within arms reach of me in his hurry to catch up with his friends !

We went up our fenceline and came across a beekeeper tending his hives over the back boundary. He'd seen the dogs come out under our fence and run off to the northeast. DH jumped in the car and paid a visit to the one house in that direction and lo & behold the dogs belonged to them. He read them the riot act and hopefully the dogs won't be back. These dogs are chained all the time and bolted when let off accidentally. Can't blame them, but having careless and neglectful owners won't save the dogs if they attack someone's livestock. The dogs will pay for their owner's errors.

Here is a shot of the pawprints of the bigger dog, next to my not-so-small foot.


Meanwhile, back at the house, the crows were entertaining themselves. We recycle plastic takeaway bowls for feeding scraps to the chickens. This one had been emptied and was sitting on the ground waiting to be taken back inside. The crows picked it up and carried it to the birdbath and were playing boats with it. They keep suprising me with their intelligence !

Here are a couple of shots of the wildlife. I hope to get a better one of the kangaroos soon. The one facing the camera has a joey in her pouch. You can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

These are straw necked ibis, a waterbird. For some reason these guys have suddenly started to hang out in my very unswampy paddocks.

This is the bumpout that we've made so the cattle can be fed and groomed easily. The rented paddock is at the back on the right and the little corner is fenced with electric fence, making me a little corral so I can catch them for doctoring or putting a halter on etc.

Here are the boys in the bumpout getting supper. Ziggy on the left, Jack at the back and Edo in the centre.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

It's been a long week. Still no resolution of the work situation. It's been made worse by repeated promises that information would be coming "this week". In some cases it's been "this week" for nearly two months.


The chicks are growing fast, we now know there is a rooster and a hen. See if you can pick which is which ...


So, for a roundup. There have been no new fox losses, and the dual occupancy of Chookmahal continues without incident.The sheep are scheduled for shearing (well, Emmaline and Cleo) and then vaccinating. The cattle are shedding out their winter coats and getting glossy. It's about time Ziggy got his new weaning ring and I got some milk ! The geese refuse to stay down at the dam for more than ten minutes while the fox is still around (can't blame them), but are very noisy and pushy neighbours.

The vege garden is still producing, though the heat and dry has some plants bolting to seed. We found shoots on three kurrajong seedlings we thought had died, but also realised that rabbits can get into the saltbush yard where they are planted and we need to get that fixed before the seedlings get nibbled ! We have finally had some rain, 5 1/2 mm yesterday and 5 mm today and still falling. This is VERY welcome.

Speaking of welcome, we had visitors from Canberra on the weekend, an old friend and her family. It was a lovely visit and a pleasure to have them :-)